“Chaos theory teaches that seemingly insignificant initial circumstances can affect global, even universal events. As the theory has it: a butterfly flaps its wings in one country and helps cause a tornado in another. The same idea applies in our lives … [This is an] exercise to dramatize something like the ‘butterfly effect’ in human terms … It works best with a large group of people, in a large open space … Select any two people in the space, without indicating who they might be, and move so as to keep an equal dis- tance between yourself and those two people at all times (not necessarily at the midpoint between them) … [After] four or five minutes, [people are invited] to pause and reflect on what they experienced. [You may] become aware that [you] are part of something bigger than [yourself] … how one small, intentional change by just one person can create wide effects. So, somebody has to go first, or that intentional change won’t happen. But why should it be us?”
John-Paul Flintoff, How to Change the World, Macmillan, 2012, p. 63. Exercise originally carried out by environmental activist Joanna Macy. It is further explained in her book, co-authored with Molly Young Brown, Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect our Lives, New Society Publishers, 1998.
Collaborator: Anna Hadjiantoni